Sunday, June 8, 2014 By

Trip To Kaluk - Rinchenpong , In West Sikkim

Discover Unmatched Beauty Of Kaluk And Rinchenpong In West Sikkim

Sikkim is not a mere travel destination for me, Sikkim is a symphony to me which lingers in my senses, still after I go away from Sikkim. After visiting idyllic village-scape of Kaluk and Rinchenpong, my Sikkim-syndrome created a crescendo that reminds me my desire for a peaceful life, desire to escape urban din. Kaluk village is one of the many remote yet beautiful hamlet resting peacefully in the plunging valleys of Sikkim, dazzled with rhododendron grooves,hemmed by Himalayas, the mighty Kangchenjunga.Every hidden corner of this little hamlet exclusively focuses on ethereal beauty of Kangchenjunga floating over distant clouds without any hype (obviously in a clear sky day). Mysterious Kangchenjunga prefers to disguise her gracefulness inside a deep veil of clouds(winter is best bet).

A Spectacle to gape open mouthed, for which veteran travelers rushing to Sikkim years after years
Enroute to Kaluk:
Without much knowing what was lying ahead of me,I whispered a farewell to queen of hill,Darjeeling and started for Kaluk.The picturesque avenues approached through unending slopes of sprawling tea plantation  towards my destination.From Darjeeling I descended down and down  up to the foot-hill town Jorethang bustling beside roaring Rangeet river valley.The roar of the river reverberates in the valleys.
The river , the mountains and the valley where lives thrives,Jorethang a foothill town at West Sikkim
After crossing suspension bridge over cascading,restless Rangeet( river),it was stiff climb through densely wooded mountains occasionally interspersed with little hamlets surrounded by rice terraces.By-passing serene Soreng,waving hands of  road side children,at-last I reached Kaluk,after three and half hours journey. 

Immersed into the mountains of Sikkim
I spent two days with absolute peace of mind enjoying each moment of serenity and deeply immersed into the mountains of Sikkim.I walked through unknown mountain trails,soaking in the strong aroma of moist woodlands infused with the fragrances of wild flowers.Tall trees,wild flowers, dense canopy made a beautiful sight and no wonder beautiful birds made Kaluk their nest.See graceful bird's picture at Dawn Chorus At Kaluk and the flowers  at Summer Blooms In Sikkim.

A paradise for nature lovers, aflame with wild flowers
Kaluk cocooned within her own rhythm so as the villagers.Without socializing with shy yet friendly villager experiencing rural Sikkim would be incomplete.An absorbing visit to Azing Lepcha's organic Farm made my last wish a fulfillment.Spent few hours inside Azing's organic farmland and with the family, sharing stories with the family how they took personal initiative to produce everything organically from sting-less honey to alcohol free fruit wines and some are unique like jack fruit,gurush (flower of rhododendron)and banana wine.I tasted couple of variety wines.That's how beautiful rural Sikkim is!Life is a journey and I am the one to make it ethereal.
She is a simple village lady unique with her own idea ,and I feel she is as beautiful as her work

Kaluk with handful of houses and shops entices me with brisk weather,flowering bushes,clamoring birds ,little known mountain trails,orange-pineapple-grapes grooves and cheerful friendly villagers.The best part of these countryside is ,it has managed to be pristine pure while giving all comforts for a family holiday.
That,s how beautiful is Rural Sikkim !
This time I was in no mood of hoping from one sight to another or traveling rigorously, I restricted myself into the walking distance.So next day morning after a little walk through unspoilt mountain trail surrounded with wild grass flowers in adjacent village Rinchenpong,I reached to the mountain top and found a memorial stone with a poem written over it.
                            "Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
                             Where knowledge is free..."
Sunshine looks so lovely on the grass flowers
First time I realize my journey can be as beautiful as a poem, indeed its a poetic place.We were into  Rabindra Smriti Ban,a memorial for legendary poet and Dak-Bunglow where Rabindranath Thakur spent some time in verdant solitude. A rice and fish curry Bong basking in the warmth of sunshine could see only sprawling mountains down below as far as eyesight could reach.Mist rolled in and out playing a hide and seek with the mountains.
My next stop was third oldest Rinchenpong monastry.I approached through atmospheric avenues of colorful prayer flags set on long bamboo poles towards the Tibetan style Buddhist monastery,adding splash of vibrant vermilion and sunshine yellow to the green ridge-top.The chanting sounds of Buddhist script by resident Buddhist monks resonates into the valley.I feel the tug of Shangri -La .

There is a feel of  spirituality in Sikkim's invigorating air
 Soon low lying monsoon clouds engulfed the hills and the slopes with a white transparent sarong. It started down pouring and I prayed for this downpour wholeheartedly.Because only a torrential rain can clear the embracing clouds and mysterious Kangchenjunga might come out of her disguise.But soon the cold breeze, the rain-drenched greenery and the sweeping mist embracing me,the mountains,the valleys would remind me why rain is so romantic to me despite the lack of sunshine.

Places to See Around Kaluk: 

Tucked away from touristy track Kaluk offers so many things for the veteran travellers
  • Singshore Bridge - Asia's second highest suspension bridge.
  • The Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is a must-visit.(In April you will be surely spellbouded by the riotous rhododendrons )
  • Rinchenpong Monastry,Temi Tea Estate and  nearby ravishing RavBangla.
  • Explore the adjacent alpine jungle and it is bird lovers paradise surrounded with wild flowers and exotic faunas.
  • Khechipalru Lake.
  • Pelling is also 2 hours drive .

 Staying At Kaluk:

Ghonday Village Resort draped with exotic foliages and floras welcomes every guest with never ending bird's clamor.This resort offers a peaceful homely  retreat to every visitant with a grassy lawn to unwind and a children's play area. The honest effort of the owner as well as the resort-stuffs to please each and every guests reflects everywhere from hearty meal to matchless service,from spotless cleanliness to beautification. Rooms are unfussy, big, with wall to wall window tastefully decorated with wooden furniture and beautiful upholstery.Being situated on the upper side of Kaluk this resort offers you gorgeous view of Mount Kanchendzonga range in a clear sky day.
PHONE: 03595 - 245267, (M) +91-0-95939 79695, 94341 10039, 99330 01127
Mandarin Village Resort is also equally good bet to stay in Kaluk. 

A genuine hospitality at Ghonday Village Resort

How To Reach Kaluk:

Most of the resort arrange pick up either from nearest railway station NJP /airport Bagdogra and fare is 3500Rs. Or From NJP /Siliguri you can come to Jorethang , main transport hub of West Sikkim by sharing cab.From Jorethang last  sharing Jeep for Kaluk leaves at 2:30 PM.In that case you can save a lot transport cost.Even from Darjeeling you can come down to Kaluk via Soreng. But the 26 Km stretch from Melli Bazar to Jorethang is pathetic due to double lane road construction work.

Best Time To Visit Kaluk:

You can visit Kaluk all through the year, except perhaps during the monsoon. The best time to go is between April and mid-June as in April hills dazzled with riotous rhododendrons and summers are soothing. If you do not shy away from the cold, however, the winter months (mid-September to mid-December) are best bet for clear weather and getting a panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks.

Related Article About Kaluk:

 Dawn Chorus At Kaluk 

Summer Blooms In Sikkim